Sturgeon: Tories plan to "sacrifice" of Scottish economy to win Ukip vote

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Sturgeon: Tories plan to

Will the SNP be quaking at Ruth Davidson's Conservative revival? No. To have two of them on the council is frightening.

"The Labour and Conservative votes have combined together in those one, two and three votes, and, for the first time ever, West Dunbartonshire Council has a conservative group".

A total of 1,227 councillors are being elected across 32 local authorities areas in Scotland.

While the election will provide an indication of support ahead of the Westminster poll, politicians from all parties stressed the important role councils play in areas such as education and social care, and have urged Scots to use their vote.

THE SNP in North Ayrshire have said that they are open to a coalition with Labour, following the vote that saw North Ayrshire Council hung.

But coverage of the contest there has overlooked a number of factors.

Labour hoped to retain majority control of the city chambers, having been in power there since 1980, and fielded 43 candidates for the 85 seats split across 23 multi-member wards.

Mr Salmond conceded that support for the Conservatives is on the rise in Scotland - but claimed "presumptuous announcements" by the Tories would only seek to boost support for the SNP.

Conservative councillors are now the largest grouping in six local authorities. They want to pick fights with Europe. Stuart Donaldson looks sunk in West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine (WAK).

Meanwhile polls have warned that Labour, which won a majority in four councils five years ago, could be facing "heavy losses".

By which I don't mean to suggest she has been struck dumb or otherwise rendered mute for the duration of this general election campaign, merely that she no longer has anything new to say.

Labour MSP Anas Sarwar said losing seats is "disappointing" for the party.

In Perth and North Perthshire, for example, the Conservatives need a nine percent swing to unseat Scottish affairs select committee chairman Pete Wishart, and they managed nearly 13% in parts of his constituency.

Nicola Sturgeon hailed the Scottish local elections as an "emphatic" win for the SNP - despite the Tories gaining 167 seats and returning a record number of councillors.

Ms Davidson also went on to criticise Labour, who slumped to become the third largest party in Scotland's councils, adding: "As for Labour, they were left to count the cost of decades of complacency, arrogance and a failure to respond to the concerns of ordinary families".

Similarly, given the respective SNP and Conservative vote shares in Moray (31.6% to 36.1%), home to Angus Robertson, the party's Westminster leader could also be in trouble. The whispers coming out of SNP HQ are that they are anxious.

"In standing up to the SNP's drive for separation, she is now more in touch with Scotland than Nicola Sturgeon".

The second reason the SNP will welcome talk of a Tory surge this weekend is that it suits their ends.

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